Skywatch: Look for fireballs this week!

Skywatch: Look for fireballs this week!
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Sunday night will give you the chance to see something you may be hearing about for the first time. Starting at just after 9 p.m. the occultation of Aldebaran begins.

Aldebaran is the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus, the bull, and on the night of the fifth the moon will occult, or cover it.

Because the moon is much closer to us than the star itself there are times when it gets blocked out by it. Sunday's occultation will last just under an hour.

Tuesday night will give you a chance at seeing Saturn! The planet will be visible shortly after sunset and it’ll hang low in the southwestern sky.

It’ll shine brightly and if you have access to even a small telescope it’s worth breaking out to see Saturn’s famous rings.

Throughout the week the moon will be getting smaller and smaller each night.

On Friday afternoon the moon reaches Last Quarter phase at 3:36. Look for the half-moon in Friday night’s evening sky.

The darkening moon will make meteor viewing a little easier this week. Even though it’s not particularly active the North Taurid meteor shower lasts for nearly two months, starting around 10/12 and wrapping up on about 12/2.

The weekend will see the peak of the shower when about 5-10 meteors an hour will be visible. Caused by leftover debris from Comet Encke the shower is expected to peak Friday night into Saturday morning and again Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The radiant is near Taurus, the aforementioned constellation, which will be highest in the sky around midnight. It’ll move from east to west through both evenings.

This shower can produce slow-moving, bright meteors known as fireballs. The best view can be found far away from the city lights. If it’s not too cloudy enjoy the show. Happy hunting!